Wealth managers may say they are in the "relationship business," but a majority of investors say their advisors fall short in the hand-holding department, according to a new report.
The study by SEI Global Wealth Service says 62 percent of investors believe the wealth management industry fails to forge personal relationships with clients.
The findings are part of the latest SEI global study, entitled The Relationship Business: Expect the Unexpected which explores whether actual client experiences match what wealth managers claim to provide.
The study is based on interviews with about 250 private clients and wealth management providers, including banks, independent trust companies and investment firms.
Most of the wealth management firms and roughly half of the private clients polled agree on what being an empathetic advisor means: A capacity to listen and understand, while fulfilling their clients' needs.
"Undeniably, there is much work to be done in the banking industry in order to restore clients' faith in the ability of wealth managers to listen and meet their needs," said Jim Morris, senior vice president for SEI's Global Wealth Services.
Morris said client-advisor trust will only be restored when advisors realize that investors value their personal relationships with their advisors as much as they do the culture, ethics and overall behavior of the advisory firm. "Only through change can wealth management firms hope to boost investor confidence in the 'relationship business' and deepen their client relationships," he said.